15 Mar 2017

Mentoring Opportunities at APA

Mentoring Opportunities at APA

Mentorship is mutually beneficial. Mentees enjoy the advantage of their mentors’ experience, support and encouragement, and mentors may experience an increase in research productivity and enhanced professional recognition as a result of mentoring. Mentees, specifically doctoral students in the psychology field, benefit from mentorship through the development of professional skills, scholarly productivity, enhanced networking, and increased dissertation success.[1] Realizing the importance of mentorships, APA has taken the position on mentoring that all emerging psychologists deserve quality mentorships that facilitate leadership development.[2]

Listed below are several mentoring opportunities for career development and research experience offered by APA:

Disability Mentoring Program

In an effort to increase the success of underrepresented groups in graduate school and entering professions, the Office on Disability Issues in Psychology offers a mentoring program that supports psychology students with disabilities, early career psychologists with disabilities, and psychologists who develop disabilities. The yearlong program provides these students and psychologists with the opportunity to learn from experienced psychologists with disabilities. The application process for the 2017–18 term begins on Aug. 15, 2017.

LBGT Graduate Student Mentoring Program

The American Psychological Association of Graduate Students Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (APAGS-CSOGD) offers a yearlong mentoring program from September through August for LGBT graduate students in psychology to be mentored by colleagues who share similar interests, experiences and goals.

Mentors and mentees meet at least six times throughout the program, in person or remotely. Psychology professionals and graduate students who have completed at least three years of psychology may serve as mentors.

Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) Professional Development Service Program

This program provides graduate students and early career faculty with career-related assistance by matching them with mentors who share their interests. Mentors are fellows of STP and have at least seven years of teaching experience.

Division 17: Society of Counseling Psychology Special Task Group on Mentoring International Students

As a response to the increase in the number of international students in counseling psychology programs and the various challenges, such as language barriers, that these students face, APA formed a task group to provide them with support.

The task group provides an opportunity for international students to become involved in Div. 17 and to connect with other international professionals in the field. The mentoring program enables international graduate students to participate in professional development.

Division 21: Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology Mentoring Program

Mentees gain the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other industry and academic professionals in a variety of areas, including deciding which graduate courses are appropriate with their future goals, preparing for a board certification, or securing funding for research programs. The mentorship chair of the Division collects applications and assigns mentors.

Division 45: Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race Mentoring Program

This Division's mentoring steering committee connects graduate students who are future practitioners, researchers and scholars with a diverse collection of professional and academic APA members for mentorship.

The mentorship program is dedicated to increasing access for diverse students in professional and academic fields and has matched over 40 students with long-term mentors.

The Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Psychology Summer Institute (PSI)

Each summer, MFP runs the Psychology Summer Institute at APA, which provides travel support, mentoring, professional development, and networking for 20 advanced doctoral and early career fellows per year via a one-week intensive training. PSI receives partial support from the SAMHSA Fellowship grants.

Participants receive one-on-one mentoring and help with developing a grant proposal, postdoctoral fellowship, dissertation, treatment program, publication or program evaluation project on issues affecting racial and ethnic minority communities.

This year’s PSI will be held July 9–15, 2017.

Cyber Mentors

Funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Cyber Mentors prepares social scientists for research careers that examine health disparities among populations, matching early career scientists with mentors who are leaders in the field. Mentees receive one-on-one mentoring that includes career development and research application draft assistance.

APA’s Minority Fellowship Program

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Fellowship

With grant support of $793,978 per year from SAMHSA, APA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) offers the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Fellowship, which provides financial support, mentoring, and professional development for 24 doctoral fellows and one postdoctoral fellow per year. MFP additionally supports nine Training Advisory Committee members focused on doctoral and postdoctoral training.

Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship

With grant support of $532,000 per year from SAMHSA, the MFP also offers the STAY Fellowship, which provides financial support, mentoring and professional development for up to 40 master’s fellows per year.  MFP also supports nine Training Advisory Committee members focused on training master’s-level practitioners to work with youth.


[1] Johnson, W.B. The Intentional Mentor: Strategies and Guidelines for the Practice of Mentoring. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 2002, Vol. 33, No. 1, 88–96.

[2] http://www.apa.org/apags/issues/mentoring-position-statement.aspx

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13 Mar 2017

Where to Find Government Grants for Psychologists

Where to Find Government Grants for Psychologists

The government, with its relatively large budget, is still a good source of funding for researchers. Here are some government institutions that give out a significant number of grants suitable for psychologists. We've also included some grants obtainable from private institutions and non-profits.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

In FY 2016, NIH invested approximately $32.3 billion in medical research. NIH provides financial support in the form of grants to enhance health, promote healthy lives, and reduce the burdens of illness and disabilities. Researchers in the psychology field would fall into these categories.

You don’t have to be an esteemed scientist for NIH to give you money. NIH supports scientists at various stages in their careers, from predoctoral students on research training grants to investigators with extensive experience who run large research centers. NIH is committed to supporting New and Early Stage Investigator (ESIs), a category that includes early career researchers who are 10 years out from having completed their research degree.

NIH awards more than 80% of its budget in 50,000 competitive grants to more than 300,000 researchers at over 2,500 universities, medical schools, and research institutions. The average success rate of NIH grant proposals is about 19%, a percentage that has held steady for 10 years.

NIH funds several types of grants, including Career Development Awards (“K series” grants) for early career research scientists committed to research and newly trained clinicians; Resource Grants, which are “used in a wide variety of ways to provide resources to research projects or to enhance research infrastructure”; and Research and Training Fellowships, which provide research training opportunities to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees. These also provide the unique opportunity to receive funding for research training during off-quarters or summer periods to encourage research careers and/or research in areas of national need.

Here is more information on NIH competitive grants: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm.

NIH also offers writing tips, a helpful 10 step process for the grant application process, and more helpful information about getting a grant.

And, here is some good advice for NIH grant applicants, straight out of APA.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA)

While SAMHSA does not offer many grants for individuals (grants are usually offered for the purposes of institutions), early career psychologists can apply, representing their organizations, if they are using the grants to provide community services.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science, including Social and Behavioral Sciences, and receives thousands of applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, and funds approximately 25% of the proposals, a percentage that has increased over the past few years. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.

You can find general listings for NSF grants here, listings for funding opportunities specifically for grad students here, and funding for postdoctoral fellows here.

Health and Human Services (HHS)

According to its website, HHS distributes the largest amount of grant funding of any Federal agency. While most HHS grant funds are given to States, approximately 32,800 grants were awarded to nongovernment agencies. Career psychologists who do not work for government agencies can apply for grants, on behalf of their employer. You can see available opportunities for individuals by visiting grants.gov and selecting “Individuals” in the “eligibility” section.

HHS also provides helpful tips for writing grant proposals.

More Government Agencies

For other government agencies, you can register as an individual to apply for grants that go directly to researchers, not institutions, at grants.gov, which is a centralized location where government agencies list their grant opportunities.

You can also learn more about navigating the grant application processes here.  

The government agencies that currently list available grants for research opportunities include the following: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Department of Justice (USDOJ), which offers research opportunities related to violence that could easily relate to social science; Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Search for grants here. APA also keeps a very helpful list of government grants here.

Other Grant Opportunities

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation awards grants for research, specifically in the mental health field, to researchers at various career stages: the NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, which supports researchers at the postdoctoral level or the assistant professor level, for up to $35,000 a year for a maximum of two years; the NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant, which supports scientists at the associate professor level for up to $50,000/year for a maximum of two years; and the NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant, which grants full professors up to $100,000 for one year.

The William T. Grant Foundation offers grants to support research in the area of human behavior, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, for applicants employed at tax-exempt organizations. These grants are specifically given for research related to youth services.

Newton’s List also offers a list of grant opportunities for researchers interested in international research.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities also has a list of current grant opportunities.

Another good place to look is the APA's scholarship, grant and award database, located here. This is a great location to find research funding, grants and scholarships awarded by APA and other psychology-related organizations.

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08 Mar 2017

Fellowship Opportunities at APA and Beyond

Fellowship Opportunities at APA and Beyond

Fellowships provide funding, support research, and enable researchers to study at desirable places while gaining great field experience. Fellowships are also hard to find. So, we’ve found some for you, listed below.

APA Congressional Program

  • Description: APA's Congressional Fellowship Program places fellows as staffers for a member of Congress or as Congressional Committee staffers for one year.
  • Why it’s great: This program provides psychologists with an invaluable public policy learning experience and an opportunity to contribute to the effective use of psychological knowledge in government. This program also broadens awareness about the value of psychologist-government collaboration within the federal government.

APA Executive Branch Science Fellowship Program

  • Description: The APA Executive Branch Science Fellowship Program places a psychological scientist in a federal executive branch agency with a science-related mission for one year.
  • Why it’s great: The fellowship offers placement in esteemed national agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy, and provides additional learning opportunities through a science and public policy seminar series administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and APA.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) Fellowship

  • Description: With grant support of $793,978 per year from SAMHSA, this fellowship is offered by APA’s Minority Fellowship Program, and provides financial support, mentoring, and professional development for 24 doctoral fellows and one postdoctoral fellow per year.
  • Why it’s great: The MHSAS Fellowship is designed to support the training of future practitioners in behavioral health services and prevention, and provides potential leaders with specialized experience in providing direct services or developing policy for ethnic and racial minority communities.

APA Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship

  • Description: The STAY Fellowship receives grant support of $532,000 per year from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA) for funding, mentoring, and professional development of up to 40 fellows at the master’s level per year.
  • Why it’s great: The STAY Fellowship is uniquely designed for students in terminal master’s programs in psychology whose training prepares them to provide mental health services to transition age youth (ages 16 through 25) and their families.

Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship

  • Description: Sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation (APF), the fellowship awards $25,000 for graduate students in child psychology.
  • Why it’s great: Not only does the fellowship provide development opportunities for students who are in the process of shaping their careers in various areas of psychology, but it also provides support for scholarly work that contributes to the advancement of psychology.

Summer Science Fellowship

  • Description: The APA Summer Undergraduate Psychology Research Experience Grants program offers up to five grants to college and university departments to support undergraduate research assistantships in psychology laboratories for six to eight weeks during the summer to provide undergraduate students with research experiences.
  • Why it’s great: This fellowship is uniquely designed to provide undergraduate students who have little or no prior laboratory experience with the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of how scientific research is conducted.

While students themselves are not able to apply directly for an opportunity grant, APA makes it very easy to forward the grant announcement to teachers or department chairs and request that their school participates. APA provides funds to pay each student at the institution’s current rate of pay for undergraduate research assistants.

APAGS/Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship

  • Description: The Junior Scientist Fellowship provides support for students in the early stages of a research-oriented graduate program with funding for a research project so they can gain research experience.
  • Why it’s great: In addition to providing research experience, the fellowship also serves to increase recipients’ chances of securing a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship in the future.

Here are a few fellowships that are offered outside of APA that might be of interest as well:

APA-IUPSYS Global Mental Health Fellowship

  • Description: The APA-IUPsyS Global Mental Health Fellowship enables psychologists to contribute to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, for one year. Fellows focus on issues related to the WHO Mental Health Action Plan following an orientation period at WHO headquarters in Geneva.
  • Why it’s great: The fellowship provides a unique opportunity for a psychologist to contribute to WHO’s work and be involved with international mental health policy and implementation.

The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health’s Predoctoral Fellowship in Gender, Sexuality and Health

  • Description: The predoctoral fellowship, funded by a training grant award from the National Institute of Child Health and Development, Population Dynamics Branch, offers PhD applicants who are planning on entering doctoral training programs in the fall substantial funding, guaranteed for up to five years.
  • Why it’s great: The predoctoral fellowship is the nation’s first multidisciplinary doctoral training program in gender, sexuality, and health, and is designed to prepare students for research and teaching careers focusing on the role of gender and sexuality in shaping reproductive and sexual health, both nationally and globally.

Jacquelin Goldman Congressional Fellowship

  • Description: The fellowship offers up to $90,000 to developmental and clinical psychologists with existing experience working with children for the enhancement and promotion of psychologist-government interaction among psychologists and within the federal government.
  • Why it’s great: Fellows with an interest in public policy related to the psychological development of children will gain an unparalleled learning experience, attending a two-week orientation program on congressional and executive branch operations and participating in a yearlong seminar series on science and public policy issues.

Here are some other policy-related fellowships to consider:

James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)

  • Description: This postdoctoral congressional fellowship provides the opportunity to apply psychological research to the analysis of social and science policy. Fellows enjoy access to a range of AAAS Fellowship professional development opportunities and support throughout the fellowship year and beyond.
  • Why it’s great: Knowledge of policy processes at the national level is “desirable” but not required, which means candidates who are interested in policy but don’t have a lot of experience in the policy field still have a chance.

The Dalmas Taylor Memorial Summer Minority Policy Fellowship

  • Description: The fellowship, jointly hosted by APA, provides graduate students of color with an opportunity to work on public policy issues for two to three months each summer in Washington, D.C.
  • Why it’s great: This fellowship is perfect for grad students who have committed to a career with a focus on ethnic minority issues.

Special Note: All applicants for the Dalmas Taylor Fellowship are strongly encouraged to apply for the APA Minority Fellowship Program Summer Institute.  Preference will be given to applicants who apply to both!

Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellowships

  • Description: The SRCD offers both congressional and executive branch fellowships for postdoctoral scholars from a variety of disciplines who demonstrate exceptional competence in an area of child development research.
  • Why it’s great: Fellows are offered access to staff members of the SRCD Office for Policy and Communications in Washington to be used as a resource throughout the year. Following the fellowship, fellows move on to a wide variety of careers in academia, public policy, or research.

Capitol City Fellowship Program

  • Description: Graduates of master’s degree programs are placed in city agencies to participate in public policy making at the local level, and are given the opportunity to meet with city officials during the fellowship.
  • Why it’s great: The program simultaneously prepares fellows for government public service at the local level, and develops their management abilities.

Leaders for Health Equity

  • Description: This is a new fellowship program for early career health-care professionals offered by The George Washington University and funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, with a focus on health disparities, designed to develop leaders in the advancement of health equity.
  • Why it’s great: The fellowship combines traditional in-person and online learning, and helps students build comprehensive knowledge of national and global health disparities.

Public Health Fellowship in Government

  • Description: Offered by the American Public Health Association, this fellowship offers placement in the House or Senate, and fellows are given the opportunity to work on legislative and policy issues such as creating healthy communities; improving health equity; and addressing environmental health concerns, population health or the social determinants of health.
  • Why it’s great: Fellows receive the opportunity to enhance public health science and practical knowledge in government.

Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows Program

  • Description: This fellowship offers mid-career health professionals and behavioral and social scientists who are interested in federal health policy with an opportunity to work directly with health policy leaders.
  • Why it’s great: More than 250 RWJF fellows have participated in the policy process at the federal level and have applied that leadership experience to the improvement of the health-care system, public health and health policy.

White House Fellowship Program

  • Description: This fellowship provides early career professionals who hold a record of achievement and leadership with the opportunity to work with White House career staff and with Cabinet members. White House fellows typically spend a year as full-time, paid assistants to senior White House staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials.
  • Why it’s great: The mission of the program is for fellows to return to their former or new occupations more experienced in public policy decision-making and better prepared to contribute to national affairs.

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09 Feb 2017

Create a Crowdfunding Platform For Your Research

Create a Crowdfunding Platform For Your Research

Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way to garner support for all types of fundraising efforts, including academic research. Not only does crowdfunding expand your funding options beyond scarce school resources and competitive grants, it also typically increases the visibility of your research, which can lead to additional support. Creating a crowdsourcing platform for your research study can facilitate connections with established researchers in your field and attract interested volunteers to assist you with your research.

Through crowdfunding, researchers can also increase community participation in their research, not only through donations and gift giving, but also by providing the public with a learning experience. Researchers at the University of Western Australia (UWA) have connected with the public through their crowdsourcing efforts via an innovative partnership with chuffed.org, a website that hosts funding campaigns for organizations and individuals dedicated to social causes. UWA students use chuffed.org as a social networking space devoted to their research projects. UWA’s alliance with chuffed.org enables the public to donate to research fundraising campaigns very easily, as the established website provides tax receipts and offers a secure payment option for donors.

Although having a partnership such as UWA and chuffed.org is beneficial, students can raise funds on their own. It is not necessary for your school to partner with an established crowdfunding site for you to use crowdfunding to cover the cost of your research. In fact, according to Dr. Campbell Thompson, Director of the Office of Research Enterprise at UWA, the success of research project funding is ultimately determined by the researcher’s own connections, rather than the collaboration between UWA and chuffed.org. “Students at UWA are expected (and encouraged) to take advantage of their own contacts through additional social networking methods [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.] to increase their fundraising potential,” says Dr. Thompson.

One researcher did exactly that. After receiving donations from family, friends, and strangers, she was able to finance an important part of her research. “A total of 73 people backed our campaign, and I’m immensely grateful to each and every person who donated, shared, and supported us. A little over a week ago, I was finally able to conduct the fieldwork,” she writes on her chuffed.org page.

To begin crowdfunding for your research, you should first set a fundraising goal. For example, a Principal Investigator decided on a fundraising goal by calculating the cost of financial compensation for an assistant, paid at a fair daily rate, to maintain the ecosystem they monitored for their research. At UWA, researchers using chuffed.org usually set a goal of $10,000–$15,000, and the average donation is $50. Their most successful project raised $40,000. You should also offer “perks” for donors as incentives. For example, at a certain amount, a donor would receive an acknowledgment in a research paper, a T-shirt, or a tour of a research site.

Whether you use your school’s resources, a crowdfunding site like chuffed.org, or your personal social networking presence as tools for fundraising, follow the lead of UWA researchers and start creating a crowdfunding platform for your research.

Ready to get started? Take a look at these crowdfunding platforms.

In the comments section below, share how you’ve covered the cost of your research projects with us!

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09 Dec 2016

Consider an Alternative Funding Method for Your Research

Consider an Alternative Funding Method for Your Research

The cost of research can be high, and funding opportunities for research studies are competitive. With the ever-growing presence of crowdfunding resources on the Internet, for purposes ranging from creative projects to personal medical expenses, why not take advantage of crowdfunding for academic research? Here are a few venues for this alternative method of research funding:

Experiment.com

Experiment.com, an internet crowdfunding source for the specific purpose of scientific research, comprises a community of over 66,000 members and a display of over 60 experiments. This resource remains available to anyone who wishes to submit a study for the public solicitation of donations.

Experiment.com boasts a success rate of 48%, and shares stories (and data results) of research projects that have been successfully completed after having raised all of the necessary funding.

Chuffed.org

Chuffed.org hosts funding campaigns for organizations and charities devoted to social causes. Why not post your own research project to solicit funding? If you are able to communicate a clear outcome for your research funding purpose, you will likely be eligible to run a campaign on Chuffed.org.

According to Chuffed.org, the site’s campaigns raise an average of $7,000, and their largest campaign to date raised $345,000.

Unlike most crowdfunding sites, Chuffed.org does not charge any fees for campaigns. Donors pay the processing fees for their donation, at no cost to you. Also, Chuffed.org allows you to keep your funds, even if you don’t hit your fundraising goal. Partial funding for research can go a long way!

#SciFund Challenge

#SciFund Challenge not only provides a crowdfunding platform specifically for the funding of research, but also offers a wide range of resources, such as tools for outreach to publicize your research.

In 2014, #SciFund Challenge enjoyed a success rate of almost 70% for their funded projects. [1]

While many #SciFund Challenge projects are ecologically oriented, there is no rule that states they all must be. Anyone with a research project in the social sciences may sign up for their free newsletters, informational service, and crowdfunding resources.

If you are considering submitting proposals for research funding, visit https://experiment.com/, http://www.chuffed.org, or https://scifundchallenge.org/ to view their terms and regulations to see if these innovative alternative methods of funding work for you!


[1] Faulkes Z. #SciFund round 4 analysis. 2014. http://scifundchallenge.org/blog/2014/03/18/scifund-round-4-analysis/.

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